Visitors are welcome to step back into history and experience eighty acres of stately trees and statuary in the beautiful blend of nature and art that is Elmwood Cemetery.
Please come by the Victorian Carpenter Gothic Cottage which serves as our Visitor Center for maps, audio tours, picnic tables and handicap accessible restrooms. Research assistance is also available in the cottage, and security is on the grounds during business hours.
Tickets purchased for any of the events below are not refundable. Coupons are used for "Elmwood 101" tours only.
More than 5,000 area school children tour the cemetery each year. Students of Ambassador College will be trained to give these tours - and have fun doing it!
Graduates of this class will also be invited to participate in a variety of special events happening at Elmwood.
Class will meet on June 29th at 10am. There is no cost to participate! Call 901-774-3212 and ask to speak to Kelly Sowell to register, or email historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org.
Documenting Your History
You might know who your family members are, but wouldn't you like to hear directly from them about their lives? The experiences of our ancestors are best told by them, and so we welcome Memphis writer, author, and historian Willy Bearden as he shares his experiences in documenting the present for the future.
This fascinating talk will begin at 10:30 a.m. We'll meet in the Lord's Chapel, and coffee and treats will be served. Pre-register for this event here or call 901-774-3212. $10.
Yellow Fever: A Tour of the Plague
The history of the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1873, 1878, and 1879 can be found at Elmwood Cemetery. The Howard Association, the Citizens' Relief Committee, the Sisters of St. Mary's, and individuals who fought valiently against the spread of the scourge rest at Elmwood. Join Assistant Director Bob Barnett for an all-walking tour through the cemetery grounds and learn their stories.
This tour lasts 90 minutes, starts at 10:30 AM, and registration is required. The cost is $15 per person. To register by phone, call 774-3212.
The Voices of Yellow Fever
Yellow fever (also known as Yellow Jack, the American Plague and the Saffron Knight) decimated the city of Memphis for much of the 1870's. So many died of the fever or fled that the city lost its charter, becoming a taxing district under Nashville. This plague would claim thousands of lives. Many of the individuals who tried to help stop the scourge of yellow fever rest at Elmwood.
Join the Elmwood Players as they present a first-person narrative account of what life was like during the yellow fever. You'll meet costumed characters with stories of triumph and tragedy that will leave you breathless.
Lunch is served with this event, which begins at noon in the Chapel. The cost is $18 per person. Advance registration is required. Call 901-774-3212 for information or to register.
Elmwood is known for its large collection of Victorian funerary art. Students attending the Stone College class will be trained to assist in the preservation of Elmwood’s oldest and most fragile monuments. This workshop will focus on cleaning and restoring monuments. Graduates of this workshop will be invited to participate in scheduled monument cleanings and restoration events throughout the year.
Class will meet on Friday, September 16 at 9:30 AM. The class is free to attend, but please email historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org to register. Please wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes that you would not mind getting dirty as this is a hands-on workshop.
For more information, call 901-774-3212.
Jimmy Ogle's Elmwood
Historian Jimmy Ogle has delivered many hundreds of presentations on the history of the city of Memphis. His work has focused on the Gayoso Bayou, the Commercial Appeal, the wreck of the Sultana, and the story of the Civil War. This tour will illuminate Jimmy's favorite sites at Elmwood Cemetery.
Jimmy is a beloved storyteller and public speaker; advance registration is highly recommended. This tour will begin at 10:30 am. Cost is $15. For more information, call 901-774-3212.
BYOB at Elmwood
Join volunteer Cookie Swain as she leads a bicycle tour of Elmwood Cemetery on Sunday, October 16th at 2pm. Bring your bike and enjoy a lovely fall afternoon of cycling back through the history of Memphis with a knowledgeable and fun tour guide! Register for this event online or call 901-774-3212. $15.
11th Annual Costume Twilight Tour
History comes alive!
If you have never visited Elmwood, this tour is the best way to get to know the cemetery and the individuals who rest here. Costumed characters portraying Elmwood residents will introduce you to the history of Memphis' oldest active cemetery.
This all-walking tour will begin at 3:30 p.m. Tour groups will depart from the Cottage every ten minutes. The final tour group will begin their tour at 5:00 p.m.
Special Note: The grounds of the cemetery will be CLOSED beginning at noon on Saturday, October 22nd. The gates will re-open at 3:30PM for the Costume Twilight Tour.
Tickets are $15 for adults in advance, $20 at the gate. Children under 12 will be admitted free.
This event takes place rain or shine.
For our mobility-impaired visitors, we recommend that you call ahead and speak with Bob Barnett or Kimberly McCollum regarding tour route information. Call 901-774-3212.
Elmwood is grateful to the Crawford-Howard Private Foundation for their generous support of the Costume Twilight Tour.
Spirits with the Spirits
Glasses are raised, fallen trees rise again as art, high notes rise and high steps go down, and - truth be told - fortunes rise and fall in the storied dark.
Friday, October 28th, spirits rise in Elmwood, and the party's on at 7 pm. Miss this and you'll be sorry, like, forever.
SPIRITS WITH THE SPIRITS
When Memphis parties in the cemetery.
Friday, October 28th, in Elmwood. $70 per body, $125 per couple.
This is a "rain or shine" event. Tickets are non-refundable.
DRESS: Black & White casual, costumes and characters most welcome.
Scandals & Scoundrels Tour
Among Elmwood's 75,000 residents are the famous and infamous. Sinners and saints. Mayors and madams. Politicians and perfectly ordinary citizens. Each of them has a story to tell...and some of those stories don't have happy endings.
Join us for a look at the lives of those who contributed the notorious stories of Memphis history that we love to hear. This tour is for grown-ups only, please.
This tour is all-walking and lasts about 90 minutes. Advance registration is required. Cost is $15 per person. Starts at 10:30 am.